So, this year, our theme is, “Spiritual Formation” and our focus is on “Contemplation.“
Today someone asked me a question, “How do you know it’s God you’re hearing during contemplation?“
That is a really important question!
To begin, I want to direct you to chapter 10 of the book, “When The Soul Listens” which is titled, “Snares: Hearing God With Clarity.“
I encourage you to read it if you’re asking that question at present.
My simple answer to it is this: When it comes to “hearing God“, you certainly do need to have some checks and balances in place.
Sometimes we think we’ve heard God, when all we’ve heard is our own ego pretending to be God. This is a deep risk we should work hard to mitigate.
That is why “Contemplative Prayer” is only one of the many spiritual disciplines we should incorporate into our spiritual habits. Two examples of the kind of checks and balances we can have in place include Scripture (what does the Bible say?) and Community (what does my church say?). So, we don’t practice contemplation in a vacuum – we practice it in the context of a spiritual tradition and a spiritual group.
I hope that helps.
Every blessing, Craig.